I'm accustomed to daily lists, but I'm going to try Rhonda's suggestion of starting with a weekly to do list. From there, I'll break it down into a daily list, harvesting tasks from the weekly list as each day demands. I never bother to include repetitive daily tasks such as laundry, vacuuming, bread making and cooking dinner as they are quite literally ingrained in my everyday routine. I don't need those tasks written on a list - they happen daily without thinking about them too much. I focus solely on listing the unique additional tasks that are NOT a part of my every day routines.
At the moment, my weekly list looks like this:
- look online for used water collection/storage vessels and pick up by Friday
- follow up email re: taxes
- call doctor and book appts.
- call homeopath
- call hatchery to confirm pick up date
- finish setting up brooder
- buy chick feed and wood shavings
- call to order prescription refill
- call client re: consulting work & set up meeting
- sow next round of seeds
- add another layer of carbon in the coop
- take paint in to be shaken
- bake lemon supreme pie (Friday?)
- buy beer for weekend
- complete 1/2 of homework assignment
- read assigned material
- find clipboards and set up seasonal records in greenhouse, garage and house
- milk run
- touch up paint in basement
- install raised water barrel IN greenhouse (Sat.)
- begin main production garden bed planting plan
- buy peat moss, vermiculite and castings
- order worms
- set up worm farm
- pick up prize basket at vet office
- order specialty seeds
- attend appt. on Friday
- email re: downsizing garbage pick up
- finalize Costco list for next week
- register for swimming lessons
- book dental appt.
- finish cleaning out the mechanical room and put tools/construction materials away
This list will be added to as I think of things through the week. I already make my daily to do list each morning, but with this new method, I'll be choosing tasks from the master weekly list rather than thinking them up each day. I think this new method is much more efficient and also allows for better advance planning.
Other than lists, another key component in my productivity is rising early. I choose to get up with Kelly @ 4:45am so that we are on the same schedule which is good for our marriage, but also, for the benefit of quiet, uninterrupted early mornings. I haven't always been in a season where I could do that (pregnancy insomnia, nursing babies & night waking youngsters), but I am now and I quite enjoy it. I love feeling like I'm organized and ready to take on the day when my children wake. I parent better and I perform my job as a homemaker better if I'm prepared for the day ahead.
In my days of working away from our home, I was most efficient and productive when I made daily lists. I recall having to frequently edit them as the duties of my job changed through the day. Occasionally, a crisis would hit and the list would be altogether abandoned in favour of attending to whatever urgent matter presented itself. Once that was dealt with, the list remained to help me get back on track after the turmoil of an unexpected crisis/deadline. Homemaking is like that, too. Stuff comes up (often, actually), but those lists make all the difference in getting back on track.
With our busy season right around the corner, I'm going to be relying on my lists more than ever. From seed planting to completing schoolwork and chores, I know I'll be leaning heavily on advance planning and my lists will play an integral part in that.
How about you? Are you a list person or a fly by the seat of your pants person? Maybe you're a go with the flow kind of person... do tell!